HAVE YOU WONDERED? Open our eyes, soften our hearts
“Though he was very rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
The famous cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Maxwell Maltz (1899-1975), told an amazing story about a woman who visited his office and told him that her husband had been injured in a terrible fire. Sadly, she explained that his face was so disfigured from the burns that he had locked himself in his room and would not let anyone, including her, into his life.
Dr. Maltz quickly assured her, “You have come to the right place. We have made tremendous advances in cosmetic surgery and have all the latest technology here in my office. Just tell him to come in …”
The woman interrupted, “You don’t understand, he will not come. I did not come to ask you to heal him. I have come to ask you to disfigure my face so that he will let me back into his life.”
Dr. Maltz was utterly amazed. Of course, he did not honor her request. He did, however, go to the man’s house to try to convince him to come out. He knocked, but there was silence. Finally, the doctor yelled, “Listen, your wife came to me and begged me to disfigure her so that you would let her back into your life.”
From behind the walls, he heard weeping. Slowly the door opened, the man came out and entered into a new life. This exemplary wife intended to go to extraordinary measures to identify and connect with her hurting husband to show her love for him.
Have you ever wondered if anyone has this type of love for you?
The Christian faith proclaims the good news that God loves you this way and has proven it by choosing to disfigure himself in order to identify and connect with our hurting world. The Bible captures this astonishing and attractive thought in these terms:
“… though he was in the form of God … emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death — even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8)
He had “no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not … he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:2-5)
Dear Holy Father, during this Lenten season open our eyes and soften our hearts. Give us a clear understanding of just how much you love us and desire us to be with you. Thank you that through Jesus Christ we can find forgiveness, new life and hope beyond the grave. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Russ Whitten is a local minister, writer and musician. His band, The Bonhoeffers, play every week at The Village Door. His book Have You Ever Wondered? is available on Amazon.com.